On Thursday April 2, Ann Aguirre will be guest posting here to give away one copy of her new urban fantasy novel, Blue Diablo. Blue Diablo is the first book in the Corine Solomon series and will be in stores on April 7. If you’d like a chance to win a copy, be sure to stop by on April 2!

Hope’s Folly
by Linnea Sinclair
448pp (Paperback)
My Rating: 7/10
Amazon Rating: 4/5
LibraryThing Rating: 4.17/5
Goodreads Rating: 4.47/5

Hope’s Folly by Linnea Sinclair is the third science fiction romance novel set in the Dock 5/Gabriel’s Ghost Universe. The first two books, Gabriel’s Ghost and Shades of Dark, are closely connected and focus on the adventures of former Fleet Captain Chaz Bergren and Gabriel Sullivan. Hope’s Folly takes place after the first two novels and does refer to previous events but it only mentions Chaz and Sullivan. The stars of this story are Philip Guthrie, Chaz’s ex-husband who appeared in both previous books, and Rya Bennton. This could work as a stand alone book, particularly since references to previous events are explained, but I highly recommend reading the first two books first, beginning with Gabriel’s Ghost. Familiarity with events in the first two books and Philip’s character thus far is best, and personally, I much prefer the darkness and complexity of the first two books to this lighter novel.

Although he was a respected admiral in the Fleet, forty-five year old Philip Guthrie is now a rebel hunted by the Empire due to his opposition to their dastardly deeds. He’s still recovering from an injury, but there is no rest for the weary when you’re the target of the head of an evil intergalactic empire. So Philip gathers a crew that is not technically large enough to run the only ship he can afford, the archaic Hope’s Folly. Although the ship is not in the best shape, Philip soon wonders if difficulty with getting it functioning could be caused by a traitor in their midst.

In addition these problems, Philip has another concern – his new security guard Rya Bennton, the daughter of a good friend who recently died in one of Philip’s missions. Rya, who is sixteen years younger than he, has had a crush on Philip since she first met him at 10 years old. At the time, Philip thought her an annoying little brat but now he’s seeing her in a new – and very attractive – light. After his relationship with Chaz deteriorated, Philip believes he’s not fit for a relationship, especially with a woman young enough to be his niece. Rya adores Philip but believes he could never care for a woman who needs to lose about 30 pounds.

Hope’s Folly is much lighter than its two predecessors, which is not necessarily a bad thing, especially after just how dark the last book was. My personal preference is to read about complex characters and relationships, sinister events, mystical powers, and hard choices, though, and for that reason I much prefer the first two books. Chaz and Sully are more interesting to me than Rya and Philip, although I do love Philip. I liked him in Shades of Dark, but I was a little worried he wouldn’t be able to carry a whole book for me since he’s much more stable and normal than Sully. My concerns were unfounded, though, and I enjoyed reading the sections of the book told from his perspective more than Rya’s. Rya was likable but also very impetuous and I found it harder to relate to her tendency to rush into danger without thinking than Chaz’s tendency to analyze a situation first, although I definitely think it is great that Sinclair does not just write the same characters over and over again.

After Philip and Rya, my favorite character was Captain Folly, whom the ship was named for. When the little girl Hope died, she left behind her pet cat Folly and the ship was only available at a good price if he continued to live on it. Folly ended up being important to the story and I have a real soft spot for cats.

Like the first two books, this novel contains a great balance between romance and adventure. It is a love story (and a predictable one at that), but there is still plenty of action and intrigue. Rya and Philip both love their weapons and neither lacks courage so they manage to get into plenty of treacherous situations. If one is getting tired of reading about characters and relationships, it won’t be long before the pace picks up again.

One complaint I did have was how Rya always thought of Philip as her “Always Forever Dream Hero.” The first time I gagged a little but by the hundredth time this was mentioned, I wanted to puke. (I did have one other BIG complaint. However, to avoid spoilers, I will not discuss it here.)

Hope’s Folly is a fun romantic space opera with a little bit of everything – mystery, adventure, and some likable characters. It is very different from the first two installments in this series, but it is worth reading if you have read Gabriel’s Ghost and Shades of Dark.


Read an excerpt

Other Reviews:
The Book Smugglers
Lurv a la Mode

A Shadow in Summer
by Daniel Abraham
336pp (Hardcover)
My Rating: 7/10
Amazon Rating: 4/5
LibraryThing Rating: 3.77/5
Goodreads Rating: 3.75/5

Daniel Abraham’s debut novel, A Shadow in Summer, is the first book in The Long Price Quartet. The next two books, A Betrayal in Winter and An Autumn War, have been released and the final book The Price of Spring will be out in July 2009. Even though he is a relatively new novelist, Abraham has written a lot of short fiction and been involved in several writing projects, such as the new Wild Cards books (his sections in Inside Straight are the reason I picked up this novel) and Hunter’s Run, co-written with George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois.

The Khaiem train young men who prove to be powerful yet compassionate to become poets – not those who write verse but those who magically bind an idea in a physical form known as an andat. The city of Saraykeht has an andat that gives it enormous economic advantage. Seedless, also known as Sterile and Removing-The-Part-That-Continues, is primarily used for removing seeds from cotton effortlessly, so they do not have to be combed out manually in a time-consuming process. Since Seedless has been bound to serve against his will, he perceives himself as a slave and schemes to become free of his master, Heshai-kvo.

A Shadow in Summer is a political and character heavy fantasy containing a unique world and magic. There is not focus on sword-fighting, battles and action but more plotting and relationship and character building. Instead of the common medieval European setting, the culture is influenced by Asia with much tea-drinking and formalities. When characters are interacting, they tend to take on poses conveying their emotions and thoughts, such as poses indicating delight, acceptance, or an apology.

My favorite aspect of this novel was the andats, the ideas that poets created and bound into a form. The only andat we are introduced to in this book is Seedless, who is the most fascinating character in the entire story. Seedless is largely amoral and will do almost anything to attain his freedom, yet he seems to truly care about what happens to Heshai-kvo’s student, the well-meaning Maati. His main goal seems to be to make his master miserable, and the two have a turbulent relationship.

With the exception of Seedless, the characters were missing that special something that made me really care. They were well-developed with distinct personalities and goals and I enjoyed reading about them, but I never really felt that they came alive. One of the most interesting character moments to me was in the very beginning in the prologue, but the rest of the book did not live up to that promise. Liat, the shallow young woman who was part of a love triangle with two young men, annoyed me – she didn’t seem particularly bright and the way she treated Itani really made me dislike her. She hated the fact that he was a common laborer and always tried to get him to aspire to more. This was partially because she realized he was very intelligent but it often seemed as though she were looking down on him. Fortunately, the other main female character was much better. Amat, an older woman, was a merchant’s adviser who became caught up in Seedless’s scheme when he recruited her boss. She stumbled upon the plot, tried to destroy it, and eventually lost her place in society, yet managed to make herself a new place and come out stronger for it in the end. Both Itani and Maati were likable in spite of their mutual fascination with Liat.

Even though this is the first book in a series, it is a complete novel with a clear conclusion and no cliffhanger ending.

A Shadow in Summer is a solid debut and I enjoyed it for its uncommon setting and magic. However, it did not engage me enough to make me want to run out and get the sequel, although I will most likely read it at some point.



The Hugo nominations are in! How exciting! The full list of nominees was originally found at AnticipationSF. Some of these are available as free downloads so you may want to head over and check that out.

Special thanks to A Dribble of Ink for the heads up since that’s where I first saw this list.

Best Novel

  • Anathem by Neal Stephenson (Morrow; Atlantic UK)
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins; Bloomsbury)
  • Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (Tor)
  • Saturn’s Children by Charles Stross (Ace; Orbit)
  • Zoe’s Tale by John Scalzi (Tor)

Best Novella

  • “The Erdmann Nexus” by Nancy Kress (Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2008)
  • “The Political Prisoner” by Charles Coleman Finlay (F&SF Aug 2008)
  • “The Tear” by Ian McDonald (Galactic Empires)
  • “True Names” by Benjamin Rosenbaum & Cory Doctorow (Fast Forward 2)
  • “Truth” by Robert Reed (Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2008)

Best Novelette

  • “Alastair Baffle’s Emporium of Wonders” by Mike Resnick (Asimov’s Jan 2008)
  • “The Gambler” by Paolo Bacigalupi (Fast Forward 2)
  • “Pride and Prometheus” by John Kessel (F&SF Jan 2008)
  • “The Ray-Gun: A Love Story” by James Alan Gardner (Asimov’s Feb 2008) — Read Online
  • “Shoggoths in Bloom” by Elizabeth Bear (Asimov’s Mar 2008) — Read Online

Best Short Story

  • “26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss” by Kij Johnson (Asimov’s Jul 2008)
  • “Article of Faith” by Mike Resnick (Baen’s Universe Oct 2008)
  • “Evil Robot Monkey” by Mary Robinette Kowal (The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, Volume Two)
  • “Exhalation” by Ted Chiang (Eclipse Two)
  • “From Babel’s Fall’n Glory We Fled” by Michael Swanwick (Asimov’s Feb 2008)

Best Related Book

  • Rhetorics of Fantasy by Farah Mendlesohn (Wesleyan University Press)
  • Spectrum 15: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art by Cathy & Arnie Fenner, eds. (Underwood Books)
  • The Vorkosigan Companion: The Universe of Lois McMaster Bujold by Lillian Stewart Carl & John Helfers, eds. (Baen)
  • What It Is We Do When We Read Science Fiction by Paul Kincaid (Beccon Publications)
  • Your Hate Mail Will be Graded: A Decade of Whatever, 1998-2008 by John Scalzi (Subterranean Press)

Best Graphic Story

  • The Dresden Files: Welcome to the Jungle Written by Jim Butcher, art by Ardian Syaf (Del Rey/Dabel Brothers Publishing)
  • Girl Genius, Volume 8: Agatha Heterodyne and the Chapel of Bones Written by Kaja & Phil Foglio, art by Phil Foglio, colors by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment)
  • Fables: War and Pieces Written by Bill Willingham, pencilled by Mark Buckingham, art by Steve Leialoha and Andrew Pepoy, color by Lee Loughridge, letters by Todd Klein (DC/Vertigo Comics)
  • Schlock Mercenary: The Body Politic Story and art by Howard Tayler (The Tayler Corporation)
  • Serenity: Better Days Written by Joss Whedon & Brett Matthews, art by Will Conrad, color by Michelle Madsen, cover by Jo Chen (Dark Horse Comics)
  • Y: The Last Man, Volume 10: Whys and Wherefores Written/created by Brian K. Vaughan, pencilled/created by Pia Guerra, inked by Jose Marzan, Jr. (DC/Vertigo Comics)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

  • The Dark Knight Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer, story; Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, screenplay; based on characters created by Bob Kane; Christopher Nolan, director (Warner Brothers)
  • Hellboy II: The Golden Army Guillermo del Toro & Mike Mignola, story; Guillermo del Toro, screenplay; based on the comic by Mike Mignola; Guillermo del Toro, director (Dark Horse, Universal)
  • Iron Man Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby and Art Marcum & Matt Holloway, screenplay; based on characters created by Stan Lee & Don Heck & Larry Lieber & Jack Kirby; Jon Favreau, director (Paramount, Marvel Studios)
  • METAtropolis by John Scalzi, ed. Written by: Elizabeth Bear, Jay Lake, Tobias Buckell and Karl Schroeder (Audible Inc)
  • WALL-E Andrew Stanton & Pete Docter, story; Andrew Stanton & Jim Reardon, screenplay; Andrew Stanton, director (Pixar/Walt Disney)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

  • “The Constant” (Lost) Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof, writers; Jack Bender, director (Bad Robot, ABC studios)
  • Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog Joss Whedon, & Zack Whedon, & Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen , writers; Joss Whedon, director (Mutant Enemy)
  • “Revelations” (Battlestar Galactica) Bradley Thompson & David Weddle, writers; Michael Rymer, director (NBC Universal)
  • “Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead” (Doctor Who) Steven Moffat, writer; Euros Lyn, director (BBC Wales)
  • “Turn Left” (Doctor Who) Russell T. Davies, writer; Graeme Harper, director (BBC Wales)

Best Editor, Short Form

  • Ellen Datlow
  • Stanley Schmidt
  • Jonathan Strahan
  • Gordon Van Gelder
  • Sheila Williams

Best Editor, Long Form

  • Lou Anders
  • Ginjer Buchanan
  • David G. Hartwell
  • Beth Meacham
  • Patrick Nielsen Hayden

Best Professional Artist

  • Daniel Dos Santos
  • Bob Eggleton
  • Donato Giancola
  • John Picacio
  • Shaun Tan

Best Semiprozine

  • Clarkesworld Magazine edited by Neil Clarke, Nick Mamatas & Sean Wallace
  • Interzone edited by Andy Cox
  • Locus edited by Charles N. Brown, Kirsten Gong-Wong, & Liza Groen Trombi
  • The New York Review of Science Fiction edited by Kathryn Cramer, Kris Dikeman, David G. Hartwell, & Kevin J. Maroney
  • Weird Tales edited by Ann VanderMeer & Stephen H. Segal

Best Fanzine

  • Argentus edited by Steven H Silver
  • Banana Wings edited by Claire Brialey and Mark Plummer
  • Challenger edited by Guy H. Lillian III
  • The Drink Tank edited by Chris Garcia
  • Electric Velocipede edited by John Klima
  • File 770 edited by Mike Glyer

Best Fan Writer

  • Chris Garcia
  • John Hertz
  • Dave Langford
  • Cheryl Morgan
  • Steven H Silver

Best Fan Artist

  • Alan F. Beck
  • Brad W. Foster
  • Sue Mason
  • Taral Wayne
  • Frank Wu

The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

  • Aliette de Bodard
  • David Anthony Durham
  • Felix Gilman
  • Tony Pi
  • Gord Sellar

Congratulations to all the nominees! I am especially thrilled to see that one of my favorite books from last year, The Graveyard Book, made the final cut. It’s fantastic to see Elizabeth Bear (twice even!) and Nancy Kress recognized for their great work as well.


This is really just for my own benefit since I want to keep a list of books read in 2009 (I’m obsessive that way). I’ll update this as I read more.

Last updated: May 17

  1. Ethan of Athos by Lois McMaster Bujold (space opera)
  2. Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey (fantasy)
  3. Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke (science fiction)
  4. Inside Straight edited by George R. R. Martin (science fiction)
  5. The Charmed Sphere by Catherine Asaro (fantasy)
  6. Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison (urban fantasy)
  7. Watchmen by Alan Moore (graphic novel – science fiction)
  8. A Shadow in Summer by Daniel Abraham (fantasy)
  9. Moon Called by Patricia Briggs (urban fantasy)
  10. Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler (dystopian science fiction)
  11. Hope’s Folly by Linnea Sinclair* (science fiction romance)
  12. Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs (urban fantasy)
  13. Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs (urban fantasy)
  14. The Oracle Lips by Storm Constantine (SF & F short stories)
  15. The Two Georges by Harry Turtledove and Richard Dreyfuss (alternative history)
  16. Blue Diablo by Ann Aguirre* (urban fantasy)
  17. Feast of Souls by C.S. Friedman (dark fantasy)
  18. Corambis by Sarah Monette* (dark fantasy)
  19. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr (YA, urban fantasy)
  20. The Last Hawk by Catherine Asaro (romantic science fiction)
  21. Starfinder by John Marco* (YA fantasy)
  22. Kings and Assassins by Lane Robins* (dark fantasy)
  23. Sins & Shadows by Lyn Benedict (urban fantasy)
  24. Dreamdark: Blackbringer by Laini Taylor (YA fantasy)
  25. Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey* (urban fantasy)
  26. The Mote in God’s Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle (science fiction)
  27. The Silver Metal Lover by Tanith Lee (science fiction)
  28. Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie (epic fantasy)
  29. Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs (urban fantasy)
  30. Archangel by Sharon Shinn (fantasy)
  31. The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden by Catherynne Valente (fantasy)
  32. Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie* (fantasy)
  33. Dreamdark: Silksinger by Laini Taylor* (fantasy)
  34. Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire* (urban fantasy)
  35. The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker by Leanna Renee Hieber*(romantic historical fantasy)

Books by authors I hadn’t read before: 15
* designates 2009 releases

So far, so good. I haven’t read a single book I didn’t enjoy and I can’t say the same for around this time last year.


Well, I was starting to get caught up on reviews… Then I got sick the beginning of last week and haven’t really felt up to concentrating well enough to write a coherent book review (although I got lots of reading done last weekend). So I’m not sure when I’ll get the rest of those reviews written, but I’m hoping I’ll feel up to writing one or two this coming weekend. Sadly, this means I missed the Blogger Book Club last week, but I did read the book beforehand and will write about it sometime after I’m feeling better.

Here are the books that will be reviewed once I’ve recovered:

  • A Shadow in Summer by Daniel Abraham
  • Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler (This is the Blogger Book Club book I missed last week.)
  • Hope’s Folly by Linnea Sinclair (I still much preferred the darker Gabriel’s Ghost and Shades of Dark but I also enjoyed this one far more than An Accidental Goddess.)
  • Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs (Liked this one even better than the first book and absolutely love Mercy as a character. I’m definitely getting the next book soon and maybe some other books by Patricia Briggs. Any suggestions other than this series and the Alpha and Omega one?)

Now I am reading an alternative history mystery, The Two Georges by Harry Turtledove and Richard Dreyfuss. I haven’t picked up The Oracle Lips in a while but want to read some more stories from it soon (it’s too dense for me right now – been trying to read light, easy to read books for the time being).